News & Analysis

  1. Christina Garnier

    Tech savvy attorney, turned CA congressional candidate, says she’ll accept bitcoin donations. Obviously.

    In what is becoming an increasingly common strategy for politicians seeking support of the left-leaning Internet community, democratic congressional candidate Christina Gagnier from California’s 35th district (Inland Empire) has decided to accept campaign contributions in bitcoin. Gagnier tells CoinDesk that the decision was influenced by requests from constituents looking to make virtual currency donations, saying: My campaign is particularly focused on meeting voters where they are at, whether that’s showing up on their doorstep to see how I can help…
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  3. Radio Free Strawberry

    Mark Ames appears on Sam Seder’s Majority Report to discuss Reason Magazine’s holocaust denial

    This morning, Pando’s Mark Ames appeared on Sam Seder’s Majority Report show — today hosted by Matt Binder and Michael Brooks — to talk about Reason’s holocaust denial and pro-Apartheid coverage. He also discussed “why Holocaust revisionism is important for far right politics, the Kochs and Holocaust deniers and the Libertarian quest to demonize FDR.” The video of the show is below, or you can listen to the audio version here. (For background, read Mark’s Reason exposés  here
  4. spying

    Apple hit with class action suit for spying on iPhone users (Here are the court filings)

    Apple has been hit with a class action suit on behalf of 100 million iPhone users who, allegedly, are being spied on by the phone’s location tracking tools. According to the suit, filed in Federal Court in San Jose by lead plaintiff Chen Ma… In or around September 2012, Apple released iPhone 4 which contains an iOS operating system software that enables iPhone 4 to track its users’ whereabouts down to every minute, record the duration that users stay at any given geographical…
  5. jh

    My Big Break: Jason Hirschhorn on how a 4am email took him from sweatpants to MTV

    When we first conceived the My Big Break series, I immediately thought of Jason Hirschhorn. Given that Jason is one of the best storytellers I know, I just knew he’d have a great story about who (or what) got him started on the road to success.  I was right. In fact, when I call Jason to ask about his “big break” story it turns out he has several. The best one, though — his true big break — is the story of how he went…
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  7. Activity Trackers

    My doomed three month love affair with activity trackers

    There’s a tan line on my wrist where a Jawbone UP band was once fastened. On the other side of my desk I see my discarded Fitbit. There’s dust on the strap. “We had some good times, you and I,” I think. But I feel no compulsion to put it on. That’s not who I am anymore. It started gloriously. I found myself enthralled at the end of April, walking around the Pando office with a sleek black Fitbit on…
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    I’m not freaking out about OKCupid’s “human experiments.” Here’s why you shouldn’t either

    Complaining about Facebook has become almost a sport at this point, but for a couple weeks in June and July, the disdain for the social network hit never-before-seen levels after it admitted to manipulating user emotions by tinkering with its News Feed algorithm. The furor has largely died down, and most Facebook quitters I know have begrudgingly rejoined the service. But it’s opened up a larger conversation about keeping tech firms’ ethically and legally accountable for how they use algorithms or design to…
  9. bijan-sabet-4

    Watch the full PandoMonthy fireside chat with Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet

    A lot of VCs are full of bluster and bombast, with larger than life personalities informed by working in one of the toughest businesses around. But perhaps befitting an investor based in a land of more modest returns like Boston, Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet, is a creature of humility. Soft-spoken but brutally intelligent, the early Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare investor shared wicked insight on a number of topics at our most recent PandoMonthly in New York, including: what’s kept Boston from becoming…
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    Lucy: A loony utopian fantasy of smartening up the human race

    A lot of critics are kicking about the new hit film Lucy because it isn’t scientifically accurate. Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press makes the case: So let’s start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like … nothing new. Because, it turns out, in real…
  12. Home for Sale Sold

    Can the Zillow-Trulia merger finally disrupt the home buying process? Brokers should be terrified to find out

    As if traditional offline real estate brokerages weren’t already looking over their shoulder in fear of online listing portals – and they were – the situation just got markedly worse this morning with the online giant Zillow announcing plans to beef up through the acquisition of its nearest competitor Trulia. The $3.5 billion all stock deal is expected to close in Q1, with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff expressing doubt that it will face any regulatory pressure. The move will result…
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    As outrage grows, Reason editor rejects proof, denies that magazine denied the holocaust

    Over the past two weeks, Pando’s Mark Ames has written a series of articles exposing the repugnant past of Reason magazine. The timing was appropriate: Reason — the house magazine of American libertarianism — recently backed the “Reboot” conference in San Francisco, an event designed to win more Silicon Valley folks over to the libertarian cause. As Mark explained, by downplaying the movement’s racist history and up-playing its pro-disruption, anti-government side, Libertarianism has attracted growing support in a city where the past is, at best, an…
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    Goodbye, Ticket Cake: Another Vegas Tech Fund company bites the dust

    Oh man. Another of Tony Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund investments has bitten the dust. Ticket Cake, an online ticketing startup, has just posted a farewell video to users on YouTube having apparently not been able to make its business model work. According to DTLV.com, the company had $1.5m in ticket revenue and over 300 event organizers. Ticket Cake is just the latest Vegas Tech Fund companies to flame out or move out. Ecomom collapsed following the…
  16. Vyper

    Hyperice turns to Kickstarter to help everyday athletes train and recover like the pros

    It’s rare that amateur athletes and weekend warriors get access to cutting edge fitness technology at the same time as the pros. More typically, the best in class training and recovery gear is limited for use by elites of sport, only years later to trickle down to the rest of us – often in a watered down form. But Hyperice is flipping that script. Two years after introducing the first ever portable ice compression device – a product that is…
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  18. Radio Free Strawberry

    Why Apple may spend $30M to buy “Pandora of talk radio” app Swell

    Sources tell Re/Code that Apple is close to finalizing deal to buy Swell, a news and podcast curation app for $30 million. Billed by some as the “Pandora of talk radio,” Swell creates playlists drawing in content from iTunes, NPR, ESPN, and others that are personally tailored to users’ tastes. Like YouTube, Amazon, Spotify, and every other company looking to take control of the heavily fragmented streaming music market, Apple wants to build a broad ecosystem of audio products. This…
  19. snowdenfeature

    Buzzfeed editor: We stand by fired staffer’s reporting on Edward Snowden

    Earlier this week, Buzzfeed fired writer Benny Johnson for plagiarizing 41 of his pieces from other online sources. As I wrote yesterday, Johnson made news back in January when he cited anonymous Pentagon sources saying they wanted to kill NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. With Johnson now fired for dishonesty, we can no longer assume that Buzzfeed had in place sufficient editorial checks to ensure that Johnson’s anonymous sources were legitimate. That doesn’t just put Johnson’s reporting in doubt, but also…
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    Tor received over $1.8m from the US government last year, including $830k from military spies

    Earlier this month, Pando’s Yasha Levine revealed that almost everyone involved in Tor was (or is) funded by the US government. The revelation was particularly alarming given Tor is the tool recommended by privacy advocates, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as a way to keep communications hidden from government eyes. Now, according to tax documents released this week, we learn that the Tor Project received over $1.8m from the US government in 2013. Of that, $256,900 came directly from the State Department,…
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The Week in Review